That's a Wrap 

And here it is: The last of the red-hot (movie) lover’s must-see list for 2006. Children of Men — directed by Alfonso Cuarón, one-third of the Mexican-born cinevirtuoso triumvirate that includes Guillermo Del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, The Devil’s Backbone) and Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu (Babel, 21 Grams, Amores Perros), starring Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, Danny Huston, and the about-to-break-through Chiwetel Ejiofor, and based on a P.D. James novel — is one of the most impatiently awaited flicks of the year. And now, finally, you can see it … in Dallas. It opened there on Christmas Day. Next week, you can catch it in Houston. Have fun — burn yourself a mix CD, whip up some sandwiches, make a weekend of it. And San Antonio? No release date confirmed yet. Come on, people, we’ve got to do something about this crap. It happens far too often. We’re the seventh-largest city in the nation, for crying out loud. Write your congressman. Write the studios. Let’s storm the Quarry and stage a sit-in. Something. The mesmerizing Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is also scheduled to open this weekend. Not here, though. Nothing new at the Bijou, either. You might ask, then: Do we get no salve for our reopened and suppurating cinephile wounds?

Black Christmas opened Monday. I’ll say that again: Black Christmas. Yep. While moviegoers in 25 cities have their eyes full trying to keep up with a principal cast boasting 11 Oscar nominations and two wins (both Caine’s) among them, we’ll be lapping a horror remake wherein a serial killer with a history of turning folks (his, to be specific) into Christmas cookies terrorizes a gaggle of squealing sorority sisters. (I counted one Teen Choice Award, one MTV Golden Popcorn, and a slew of something called a YoungStar Award.) Whatever, it’s not their fault. Can’t blame ’em for cashing in on a joyous, family-centered holiday with coeds and unrelenting carnage. It is what it is; just seems sort of a shitty Christmas present/beginning to the new year that we’re already getting the snub. But things’ll be okay: I got The Squid and the Whale, King Kong, and Wet Hot American Summer for Christmas; I’ll be staying home, swaddled, inert, and happy. I’m not gloating, I’m suggesting: Turn a negative into a positive and take the chance to catch up on what you missed from 2006, or rewatch a few favorites.

Happy, happy New Year — here’s hoping Epic Movie doesn’t ruin it.  

 — Brian Villalobos

Local premiere dates for limited-release films are tentative and can change at the last minute. Please check your local theater listings to confirm showtimes.

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